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Queer Comedy at Zanies Contest

queer comedy, chicago, adam guerino

Queer Comedy at Zanies has brought queer comedy to the historic comedy club Zanies for over five years. In that time, many queer comedians have been introduced to their first mainstream comedy club and audiences. No Queer Comedy show has welcomed more new faces than the Queer Comedy Contest which started in 2012 and included previous winners Joel Kim Booster and Rhea Butcher who have both appeared on Conan and @midnight.

 

The queer-inclusive comedy contest returns Monday April 24th with host Kelsie Huff, judges Peter Kim, Marla Depew, Adam Guerino, and contestants Casey Coppess, Tien Tran, Sarah Perry, KJ Whitehead, Adam Bindert, Le Aboav, and Amanda Cohen. First place will hold the title and bragging rights, win cash prizes, and open an upcoming Queer Comedy at Zanies showcase.

 

Since its inception in 2011, Queer Comedy at Zanies has been named the Advocate.com’s “9 LGBT Friendly Comedy Shows You Should Be Supporting,” featured in Chicago Tribune’s “Stand-up Scene,” Timeout Chicago‘s “Critic’s Pick,” The Redeye’s “Do” and included in Chicago Reader’s “The Agenda” and “Culture Vulture” with the praise “More, please.”

 

Queer Comedy at Zanies Contest: Monday April 24th, 8:30pm, $10 tickets available at Zanies.com/Chicago or at the door. Zanies Comedy Club 1548 N Wells. For more information, hi res photos, or a saved seat, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

To stay in the know with queer-inclusive events in Chicago, like OutLoud Chicago.

Queer Comedy at Zanies 5 Year Anniversary

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On Tuesday July 19th, Queer Comedy at Zanies celebrates 5 years with headliner Bill Cruz! The all-inclusive comedy show will be hosted by creator Adam Guerino and feature Ali Clayton, Archer Coe, Rachel McCartney and more.

Queer Comedy at Zanies has put ongoing queer-inclusive comedy in the historic comedy club Zanies since July of 2011, has been named theAdvocate.com‘s “9 LGBT Friendly Comedy Shows You Should Be Supporting,” featured in Chicago Tribune’s “Stand-up Scene,” Timeout Chicago‘s “Critic’s Pick,” The Redeye’s “Do” and included in Chicago Reader’s “The Agenda” and “Culture Vulture” with the praise “More, please.”

Previous comedians have included James Adomian, Cameron Esposito, Beth Stelling, Brad Loekle, Matteo Lane, Liza Treyger, Megan Gailey, Joel Kim Booster and more. Comedians who have appeared at Queer Comedy have also appeared on Conan, Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, @Midnight, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, BET, TBS Just For Laughs, SXSW, Comedy Bang Bang, The Pete Holmes Show, Last Call With Carson Daly, A Night At The Apollo, and Last Comic Standing. For four years and counting, every Queer Comedy show continues to demonstrate that no matter whether audience members are queer or straight, laughter knows no sexuality.

Tuesday July 19th, 8pm, $10 tickets available at Chicago.Zanies.com or at the door. Zanies Comedy Club 1548 N Wells. For more information, hi res photos or a saved seat, don’t hesitate to reach out.

To stay in the know with queer-inclusive events in Chicago, “like” OutLoud Chicago.

Piss & Vinegar: August 12th

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Up for a night of dignified, family-friendly comedy? Too bad.

The sordid and scathing comedy show Piss & Vinegar returns Wednesday August 12th at 9pm, hosted by creators Adam Guerino and Trannika Rex.

This amazing lineup includes The Puterbaugh Sisterz, Reena Calm, Joseph William Reese, Dixie Lynn Cartwright and Kelly La Banco.

Wednesday Aug 12th, 9 pm at Berlin Nightclub – Chicago 954 W Belmont.

We’re sorry in advance.

The Rainbow Connection Comedy Tour

The Rainbow Connection Comedy Tour is a new, full-spectrum standup comedy tour from the creator of Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search, which was presented by The Advocate Magazine and Absolut Vodka. By combining the comedic talents of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans comedians, we showcase the rainbow of queer comedy. We believe this inclusion reflects the diversity of our community and in turn welcomes the diversity of our audience members. Touring multiple cities including Chicago, Madison and St. Paul, the shows will be headlined by Los Angeles-based comedian Casey Ley, hosted by Adam Guerino, and featuring Marla Depew, Dina Nina Martinez and Rachel McCartney. For the Chicago debut, we welcome straight ally Krista Atkinson.

rainbow connection comedy tourCasey Ley’s comedy is silly. And smart. And dirty. And dark. And handsome. It’s a lot like him, actually. So it is also self-centered and flakey and relatively promiscuous.

He is the creator and host of the popular San Francisco comedy game show “Tonic Trivia” and comedy variety show “Some People Like Us.” He and his shows have appeared in comedy festivals like SF Sketchfest, the Moontower Comedy and Arts Festival in Austin, TX, Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, OR, and on the radio on the relatively popular NPR station. He has shared the stage with comics you know like Hannibal Buress, Doug Benson, Laura Kightlinger and some other people you’ve heard of if you like comedy. The readers of SF Weekly voted him best comic in San Francisco in 2012 (which had nothing to do with his homosexuality). In 2013 he was runner-up in The Advocate Magazine’s Next Great Queer Comedy competition (which was wholly the result of his homosexuality). Apparently he just wasn’t quite gay enough. Last year, at least.

rainbow, connection, comedy, tourHosted by Adam Guerino. Guerino is a nationally touring standup comedian based in Chicago who has been credited as a “comedian-producer-genius” by Chicago Reader and has opened for comic greats James Adomian, Cameron Esposito, Brad Loekle and Beth Stelling. His sardonic charm makes him an ideal host as he seamlessly interacts with the crowd and comedians to give each show a fun and cohesive pacing as well as blur the lines between audience member and performer. He is the creator of Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search which partnered with The Advocate Magazine to give queer comedians national exposure. He is the creator of Outloud Chicago which for over three years has brought queer inclusive entertainment to mainstream Chicago venues most notably Queer Comedy at Zanies. He has been featured in comedy clubs all across the country and in Timeout Chicago’s Joke of The Week, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, The Redeye, Gaper’s Block, Huffington Post and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. For more info, www.adamguerino.com is a great place to start.

 rainbow, connection, comedy, tourFeaturing Marla Depew. Depew taps into her sketch comedy background to create rich, wacky characters plucked from both real life and her own head, blending them with sharp observations that challenge conventional thinking. Because of this, her stand-up sets take on a storytelling, theatrical feel complete with physicality and expressive facial movements, whether she’s detailing notes she writes to herself or waxing witty about being the B in GLBT. She is a graduate of the Second City Training Center’s writing program and has studied at iO and The Annoyance in Chicago. Marla has performed at Zanies Comedy Club, Laugh Factory, Second City’s Donny’s Skybox and deMaat Theatre, The Lincoln Lodge, The Lincoln Loft, Studio BE, Stardust Showcase, Hoo HA Comedy, Performance Anxiety Chicago, and The Kates as well as at Chicago Women’s Funny Festival and Gilda’s Laughfest in Grand Rapids, MI. She is a co-producer of Just Dickin’ Around, a women-run, queer-friendly comedy collective that creates supportive, empowering open mics and showcases for female comedians.She is the founder and producer of the monthly showcase Laughs In The Lounge. She is also a founding member of Cell Camp, a sketch troupe that’s performed at various comedy festivals throughout the country, including Chicago SketchFest, L.A. Comedy Fest, and Milwaukee Comedy Festival.

rainbow, connection, comedy, tourDina Nina Martinez. Martinez is a trans standup comedian and actor from LA who currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin. Her signature blend of disarming sass and charm has been featured in comedy festivals and multiple world-class comedy venues including LA Pride, The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, LA’s The Comedy Store and Chicago’s Zanies Comedy Club. She is the creator and host of Madison’s first and only queer comedy show Alphabet Soup, “The D Word” podcast, and the forthcoming The Dina Martinez Show. Though LA was cute and she’s certainly got fabulousness to spare, Martinez’s long term goals are to settle down and be a soccer mom.

rainbow, connection, comedy, tourRachel McCartney is a standup comedian living in Chicago. She is a cast member of 100 Proof Comedy and has performed in Queer Comedy at Zanies and Chigaygo at the Laugh Factory. McCartney is a lesbian who prefers not to label herself. Local legend Peter-john Byrnes has called her “Chicago’s foremost grammar comedian,” which is a distinction she plans to have carved into her headstone.

rainbow, connection, comedy, tourAppearing in the Chicago show, Krista Atkinson! Atkinson grew up in Southern Illinois where the cows and corn are plentiful. As soon as she possibly could she got out of all that fresh air to pursue the life of a Chicago city gal. Don’t let her classy outfits and heels fool you– she has a potty-mouth! Divorce, d**k pics, dating and dashed dreams: it’s all fair game for this brassy, brazen, bawdy blonde who has lived a full life and has a lot to say about it. Since her move to Chicago, Krista has trained in Improv at Second City and The Annoyance, stand-up with Feminine Comique, and burlesque at Vaudezilla. Krista is a co-producer of Just Dickin’ Around, a women-run, queer-friendly comedy collective that creates supportive, empowering open mics and showcases for female comedians. She has performed at Zanies Comedy Club, Laugh Factory, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, The Lincoln Lodge, Stage 773, The Playground Theatre, Hydrate, Parlour, Halsted’s, The Book Cellar with The Kates, The Underground Lounge, and the Upstairs Gallery to name a few. Check out www.justdickinaround.com!

Chicago:  August 26th, 9:30pm at Zanies Comedy Club 1548 N Wells, Chicago, IL. Tickets are $15 with a two drink minimum, advanced tickets available here. Audience members must be 21 or over.

Madison: August 29th, 7:30pm at Plan B 924 Williamson St, Madison, WI 53703. No cover! Audience members must be 21 or over.

St. Paul: August 30th, 8:00pm at Camp Bar 490 Robert St N Saint Paul, MN 55101. Tickets are $10 and available here. Audience members must be 21 or over.

For more information, hi res photos or a saved seat, contact adam.guerino@gmail.com.

Queer Comedy at Zanies presents Casey Ley

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Known across the country for presenting the best national standup comedians and explicitly featuring LGBTQ acts, February’s Queer Comedy at Zanies show features a cabaret style show with standup, sketch, audience games, music and headlined by Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search runner up Casey Ley!

Queer Comedy at Zanies has been named the Advocate.com‘s “9 LGBT Friendly Comedy Shows You Should Be Supporting,” Timeout Chicago‘s “Critic’s Pick,” The Redeye’s “Do” and included in Chicago Reader’s “The Agenda” and “Culture Vulture” with the praise “More, please.”

Comedians who have appeared at Queer Comedy at Zanies have also appeared on Conan, Comedy Central, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately, BET, TBS Just For Laughs, SXSW, Comedy Bang Bang, A Night At The Apollo, and Last Comic Standing. February’s show will feature comedians identifying as lesbian, gay, straight and bi sexual to continue showing that whether audience members are queer or straight, laughter knows no sexuality.

queer, comedy, zaniesHeadlined by Casey Ley. Ley’s comedy is silly. And smart And dirty. And dark. And handsome. It’s a lot like him actually. So it is also self-centered and flakey and relatively promiscuous. He is the creator of the popular San Francisco comedy game show Mayhem Trivia and stand-up show Some People Like Us. He has performed in festivals like SFSketchfest, Bridgetown in Portland, Oregon and the Moontower Festival in Austin, TX and on stage with comics such as Hannibal Burress, Todd Barry, Maria Bamford Doug Benson, Mike Birbiglia and Janeane Garofalo. Casey was voted best comic in San Francisco by SF Weekly in 2012 and his comedy has appeared on NPR, side rooms all over the country and in his mind for three decades.

Hosted by Adam Guerino. Guerino has been credited as a “comedian-producer-genius” by Chicago Reader. He is the creator of OutLoud Chicago which has brought queer entertainment to the mainstream for over 2 years in Chicago and Stand Out: The National Queer Comedy Search which partnered with The Advocate Magazine to give queer comedians national exposure. He writes the relationship blog Boyfriend Land and the storyteller blog Before The Story. He has been featured in comedy clubs all across the country and in Timeout Chicago’s Joke of The Week, The Redeye, Gaper’s Block, Huffington Post and Chicago Public Radio. For more info, www.adamguerino.com is a great place to start.

Michelle Renee Thompson grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where she received a BFA in Theatre Performance from Otterbein University…you know, one of those degrees that guarantees a fast track to the big bucks! Since moving to Chicago, she’s performed stand up comedy, improv comedy and has appeared in a few independent films and commercials. She has also performed with several different theatre companies, including: Chicago Actors Ensemble, Touchstone Theatre and The Bailiwick Repertory. She is a founding member of Corn Productions, where she has performed, directed, choreographed and written several plays. Michelle can currently be seen as David “Slide” Rothstein in Reality Recap Reunion at the Annoyance Theatre.

Kelsie Huff is a Chicago based stand-up comedian performing all over the Midwest. She has created three one-woman shows and is working on her fourth, “Ranch Dressing and Other Coping Mechanisms”, coming to Chicago this spring. She teaches stand-up and storytelling classes and produces the all female comedy showcase called the kates. Her company Joke Deli is a member of NACA Mid-America. @kelsiehuff www.kelsiehuff.com.

Manny Capozzi is loop artist and stand up guitarist. Manny released his first length album “Sometimes It’s Funny” in May of 2012 and his single “Let’s Get Fat Together” hit #40 on the A/C 200 charts. His upcoming release “Mister E. Machine” is slated for release in May 2014. Manny is the co-host of Sing Your Ass Off, a live band open mic at Jackhammer Night Club every Wednesday at 9pm.

Kris McDermott is a digital marketing nerd by day and teller of jokes and stories by night, wherever they’ll let her. Originally from a small town in Ohio, her voice is dry with a blue-collar sensibility. She’s interested in exploring topics like gender, race and class, always with a self-deprecating voice. She’s performed at Zanies Chicago, in Chicago showcases such as The Gogo Show, The Kates and Performance Anxiety Chicago, and performed as part of Cleveland’s Accidental Comedy Fest in 2013. She is a producer of Queer Comedy at Zanies, Chicago’s longest running showcase with a focus on queer inclusion. Her comic interview series, “Hey, Can I Bother You?” has been published by some of Chicago’s biggest media publications. Follow her on Twitter, if you like: @krismcdermott or visit her website and blog at krismcdermott.com.

Amy Eisenberg has performed at venues such as Zanies, Second City, Laugh Factory, and many more. She is also the producer of the comedy showcase Just Dickin’ Around. Just Dickin’ Around show cases are held the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at Hydrate, the 2nd Thursday of the month at The Parlour in Andersonville, and the third Thursday of the month at Halsted’s Bar and Grill.

Trannika Rex is a drag queen and master master of ceremonies in Chicago, she is the regular host of Drag Matinee at Berlin nightclub and Trannika’s Most Wanted at Scarlet Bar. Known for her hilarious and scathing sass, boozy and baudy crowd work, the diva brings her comedy styles to the stand up comedy stage for the first time.

Tuesday February 25th at 8:30pm, Zanies Comedy Club 1548 N Wells. Tickets are $15 and available at Chicago.zanies.com or at the door. Audience members must be 21/+. Two item minimum.

adam guerino, chicago

Before The Story: Marla Depew

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*Originally posted on The L Stop.

Meet Marla Depew. She is a graduate of the Second City Training Center’s writing program and has studied at iO and The Annoyance. She has performed throughout Chicago and the Midwest, is the producer of the showcase Sidecar Bar Comedy Night and co-producer of Just Dickin’ Around, a ladies’ open mic and showcase. She is also a founding member of the sketch troupe Cell Camp.

Recently I sat down with Marla to ask her a few questions about comedy, bisexuality and the queer community.

Adam Guerino: I know the who… but when, where and how did you start doing comedy?

Marla Depew: In my living room at the age of two. I’ve always loved making people laugh (even when it’s just me), but humor was also my way of dealing with a rather tumultuous childhood- it was my defense mechanism. I moved to Chicago in 2005 to study at Second City, which is where I met my fellow members of Cell Camp, the sketch troupe we formed after we graduated from the writing program. I loved sketch and was terrified of standup but had always wanted to do it, so I took Feminine Comique with Cameron Esposito in 2009. It was incredible, and I loved the rush and reward of standup, but I only performed it sporadically until about a year and half ago. Now I perform about 5–7 times a month, which is lovely!

AG: And you wear many hats. Tell me more about this “producing shows” hat you look so great wearing.

MD: Well, thank-you! I produce a monthly showcase in Rogers Park called Sidecar Bar Comedy Night, and it’s in a really intimate room which gives it such a warm, disarming vibe- I really like the spirit of the show, and the neighborhood’s happy to have a comedy show there. Plus, everyone that performs there is hilarious, so that helps! I am also a co-producer of Just Dickin’ Around, which also includes creator Amy Eisenberg and co-producers Tamale Sepp and Krista Atkinson. Our mission is to cultivate a welcoming space for women to develop their comedic voices. It’s so awesome to be a part of something so positive and fun! I absolutely love it.

AG:How would you describe your sexual orientation?

MD: I am a proud bisexual! I also love the word queer because of its inclusiveness and sometimes feel like that’s a more all-encompassing description for my orientation, but I made a conscious decision to take on the label of bisexual after experiencing so much misunderstanding and outright hostility to bisexuality.

AG:Have you felt under-represented in the queer community as a bisexual woman?

MD: Absolutely. I’d say the majority of the hostility and misunderstanding I’ve experienced is coming from inside the community, and that’s really sad and frustrating. However, I’ve also experienced a great amount of support lately, specifically during the Pride Parade this past June. I marched with the Bisexual Queer Alliance of Chicago and I wore a shirt I made that says “Start Seeing Bisexuals” and carried a sign that said “I Put the B in GLBT.” There were so many people along the parade route that shouted happily, “ME, TOO!” It made me realize how important that group is, and how important it is to be out and visible as a proud B in the GLBT community.

AG:Do you enjoy being able to control coming out via a microphone?

MD: Totally- it’s empowering! I have one bit specifically about my orientation, and I love performing it, because 1. I think it’s hilarious 2. It’s really cathartic to perform it and 3. It’s informative. I’ve had people come up to me after shows that tell me they hadn’t thought about bi-erasure before and how it hurts people, or they come out to me, or they just say it made them laugh. All of that feels really great!

AG:Does your sexual orientation change how you approach booking a show?

MD: Possibly – I tend to see different sides to things and always seek a balance in things, which may stem from my bi wiring. I use that same approach when booking Sidecar. I want each show to represent different comedic styles and energies while flowing together- it’s a lot like making a mixtape.

The Sarcastic Squad presents And I’m Proud To BJ An American

And I’m Proud To BJ An American: A Tribute to Oral Sex & The American Way. Monday July 2nd, 8pm, Town Hall Pub 3340 N Halsted. $5 admission.

queer, comedy, chicago

Flier courtesy John Scalise

Hosted by oral sexpert Adam Guerino and featuring The Blowjob, An Oral History from historian Dana Norris, True Facts about oral sex from Second Hand News with Mark Nabong and Patrick Gill, The Dyketionary: Oral Edition by Casey Larwood, “Blowjoy” an original song about blowjobs from Manny Capozzi and stand-up that goes down from Megan Gailey and Bradley Thomas.

Admittedly, we seem to be weighing heavily on celebrating the blowjob more so than the country but we don’t see the two as mutually exclusive.

And I’m Proud To BJ An American: A Tribute to Oral Sex & The American Way. Monday July 2nd, 8pm, Town Hall Pub 3340 N Halsted. $5 admission.

Queer Comedy (Contest) at Zanies: Season 2: The Champions

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Queer Comedy Contest at Zanie’s: The Champions!

Reigning champions of the October 2011 Queer Comedy Contest at Zanies return for another bout of comedic jousting this Tuesday, May 22nd at 7:30 p.m.  Last fall, three hilarious local stand ups beat out some seriously funny competition in the first ever Queer Comedy Contest, produced through OutLoud Chicago.

Dedicated to finding safe spaces for queer stories, storytellers and audiences, OutLoud Chicago continues their exciting tradition by bringing the original winners, Caitlin Bergh, Joel Kim Booster, and Homer Marrs, to face off against a new trio of queer hilarity.  The new challengers include Rhea Butcher, Archer Coe, and the Puterbaugh Sisters.

Let’s meet the champions! First up: Homer Marrs! queer, comedy, chicago, zanies

A returning champ, Homer Marrs is a Chicago writer, musician, and comedian. His critically acclaimed humorous lifestyle column, Marrs Attacks, is written for Nightspots, and it comprises one of many credits to Mr. Marrs’ name.  He has written for Film.com, American Theatre, Time Out Chicago, Las Vegas Magazine, QVegas and others.  A beloved local queer comic, Homer will be a delight to watch battle for the title of undefeatable champion.   Recently featured at Word Is Out a spoken word night between OutLoud Chicago and (http://www.inourwordsblog.com ) at Town Hall Pub, Marrs presented a short story set in an American Girl Place, featuring a relationship between an IML (International Mr. Leather) loving couple.  The audience’s reaction to Homer’s ridiculous and surprising tale of unlikely characters shopping for high end dolls illustrates his deceptive ability to keep an audience on its toes while completely entertained. Check out Homer’s comedy here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYtr3bxCvzs.  Homer gave us the scoop about how and why he decided to become a very tall and hilarious man.

When did you first get involved in comedy?

Sophomore year of college, when I joined the school’s improv group.
Who are your favorite comics and why?

As un-hip as this might be, my first favorite comic was Rita Rudner. I remember seeing her Comedy Central specials in the early 90s and being so impressed with this naive but obviously hyper-intelligent persona she had created for herself. I don’t think any of that has rubbed off on me. But in real life I am terribly naive.
How would you describe your stand up?

Genuinely tall.
What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest at Zanies?
There is too much love and acceptance in the gay community. We are at a point where we’re mainstream enough that we can openly fight with each other and not threaten the fabric of our fine social quilt. It’s high time the world learned that gay people aren’t all rainbows and rainbow flags. And I wanna punch that Caitlin Kim Coe Booster Sister in the face!

And in this corner: Caitlin Bergh!

queer, comedy, chicago
A comic like Caitlin Bergh can be seen all over Chicago, slinging her jokes and taking names, but Tuesday night’s competition will really put her skills to the test.  Fortunately, Caitlin brings a healthy dose of queer lady comic game.  She hosts The Funny Story Show every 3rd Friday of the month at LooseLeaf Lounge, and recent highlights include performing at the Electroshock Therapy Comedy Hour at Therapy Lounge in NYC (TimeOut NY Critic’s Pick), winning the Moth StorySLAM in Chicago, and performing at Cameron Esposito’s Side Mullet Nation at The Comedy Bar (TimeOut Chicago Critic’s Pick).  Check out Caitlin’s stand up here http://youtu.be/k0WSjUu_FdM.  Below, Caitlin speaks to her love of comedy and where she got her start.

How did you get involved in comedy?
I first got involved in comedy over a year ago. I was the coordinator of speakers for Parents Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG Chicago –an awesome organization) and the parents requested Cameron Esposito. She came to a meeting, and when I saw her do stand-up, it destroyed my preconceived notions of comedy as a thing where mean dudes make fun of the audience. I saw it for the first time as smart, creative, and super powerful in terms of connecting to and communicating with large groups of people. It also looked ridiculously fun. I knew immediately that it was what I wanted to do.

What sets your comedic style apart?

I would describe my stand-up as smart (hopefully), quirky (definitely) and super honest (I can’t help it).

What comics both local and national have influenced your comedic style?
I am a huge fan of Maria Bamford and Kristen Schaal. Bamford is just delightfully herself, and Schaal throws you off with her apparent sweetness. For inspiring me to get started and encouraging me to keep going, I’ll always be a fan of Cameron Esposito. I also really admire Ever Mainard for her unrivaled brassiness & use of physical comedy in her jokes, the Puterbaughs because they make me feel like I’m at a super fun party, Candy Lawrence for her hilarious pop-culture anachronisms, and Lisa Laureta for her witty & wacky social commentary. There are so many Chicago lady-comics who I admire, I could go on for days.

What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest at Zanies?
I had a great time in the first Queer Comedy Contest so I was excited to participate again. I admire all of the artists who are performing so much that I really do feel like we are all winners before we even get started (right? right? can we all be winners?). I am grateful to be surrounded by such a talented, supportive, and super creative comedy scene–both queer and not. Let’s have fun!

And the reigning champion, the season 1 first place winner, Joel Kim Booster!

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Like Homer and Caitlin, Joel Kim Booster, brings a wide array of talents to Tuesday’s rematch.  Not only an up and coming stand-up comic, Joel Kim Booster is also a company member of The New Colony (  http://thenewcolony.org/  )  theatre company. Featured in New Colony’s remount of FRAT as well as Mash Flob, Joel’s theater background might make you think he was more of a character comedian, but his stand-up’s authenticity and sardonic honesty won him the first place of the former Queer Comedy at Zanies.  Check out Joel’s comedy here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbK_Zz_MLP0.

How did you get involved in comedy?


I started doing stand-up at an after hours event at the theatre I work for back in August. It was kind of an anything goes open mic sort of deal, and it was mostly other actors and such, so I thought it would be a safe environment to give it a try.


What sets your comedic style apart?


There about a thousand funny female comedians in this town that I admire and look up to– Caitlin Bergh, Ever Mainard, Mollie Merkel, Megan Galley… The list goes on. Lady comedians are way nicer to me at open mics than the dudes are, so I will mention no one with a penis in this answer.


What comics both local and national have influenced your comedic style?


Sweet, sour and an hour later you’ll be hungry for more. (OH, BROTHER).


What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest at Zanies?


Chicago’s got a bunch of real kickass queer comedians, and I feel real fuckin’ lucky to be counted among them. Getting to the share the stage with these people is the best.


For tickets, go to http://www.chicago.zanies.com/news.php?NewsSection=Queer+Comedy.  $10 in advance, and $15 at the door with a 2 item minimum. The show starts at 7:30 at Zanies, 1548 N Wells. Street parking available.  Don’t miss it!

Queer Comedy (Contest) at Zanies: Season 2: The Challengers

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Last season, out of ten competitors, only three survived/placed at the Queer Comedy (Contest) at Zanies. On May 22nd, the 3 champions have to defend their honor against three new challengers. Former winners Joel Kim Booster, Caitlin Bergh and Homer Marrs enter into mortal combat with each other and new contenders Archer Coe, Rhea Butcher and The Puterbaugh Sisterz.

Let’s meet the challengers! First up, Rhea Butcher!
queer comedy at zanies
When did you first get involved in comedy?

My mom used to regularly rent the comedy special “Women of the Night” from my local video store, Roadrunner Video, when I was about 6. We would also watch “Stand Up Spotlight” pretty every week. As for doing stand up, I started actually doing it in August of 2011 at Cole’s open mic.


Who are your favorite comics and why?

My favorite comic is Paul F. Tompkins. His comedy is smart, insightful and just the right amount of self deprecating. He also pulls off being pompous in such a sincere way.

How would you describe your stand up?

A mix of stories and jokes; I talk about how fun and weird it is to be a boy/girl in a world that doesn’t really want you to be both.

What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest at Zanies?

I wanted to push myself to the next level with my comedy and the contest is a perfect next step with Zanies being one of the top comedy clubs in Chicago.



And in this corner, Archer Coe!

queer comedy at zaniesHow did you get involved in comedy?

Got involved in comedy when I was an altar boy and would crack the priest up in the middle of mass. Altar boy was the only job I’ve been fired from.

Who are your favorite performers and why?

Adam Guerino is my favorite comic because he is so funny and has gotten all of my good bookings so far.

How would you describe your comedy?

I would describe my stand up like awkward love making while your grandparents watch and critique your every move.

What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest?

Just cuz!


What’s this? Another challenger enters the ring… and they’re sisters! Behold, The Puterbaugh Sisterz! queer comedy at zanies

How did you get involved in comedy?

All my life in Chicago 4 years ago.

Who are your favorite performers and why?

My sister cuz were in an act together. I also admire anyone doing there own thing. Being original and innovative while holding true to what they thinks funny.

How would you describe your comedy?

Experimental ridiculousness. Its like watching sister act two with two lauren hills.

What made you want to compete in the Queer Comedy Contest?

I like being involved in comedy that contributes to the gay  lesbian and transgender community. I also like performing for that demographic of a crowd they tend to think our sister comedy is funnier than if we were to perform on a bro-case for lots of bros.


For more info on Queer Comedy (Contest) at Zanies, follow this link
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